As a grown adult, the idea of kissing your parents on the lips may cause you to recoil, especially if you were not raised to kiss one another on the cheeks or lips.
However, in many countries and regions around the world, giving your parents a kiss on the cheek is acceptable and commonplace for both children as well as young adults.
In some cases, depending on societal norms, kissing your parents on the lips is not only acceptable but encouraged in healthy family units.
Typically, kissing your parents on the lips is done as a greeting or as goodbye in some cultures and societies today, both in Western and Eastern countries.
For children, kissing a parent on the lips can be a way of conveying that they love their parents or that they are simply showing their affection in a natural and caring way.
In many cultures, kissing your parents on the lips is nothing more than a formal greeting, and one that is physical and protective.
In some countries, especially Eastern countries, it is commonplace to kiss your parents on the lips even if you are a grown adult visiting your parents from out of town.
Kissing your parents on the lips is nothing more than a simple greeting or a way to show that you respect and love them.
Children may kiss their parents in the following situations:
- When greeting them, saying hello, or waking up in the morning
- When they are excited about something or want to share joy with their parents
- When they want to show affection and love but are too young to use their words
In some cases and in many Western countries and societies today, once toddlers have grown into children, parents begin to distance themselves physically from greeting their children on the lips.
If you are an adult, but kissing your parents on the lips is the norm in your culture, there are a few scenarios in which you might kiss your parents on the lips, such as:
- At a formal gathering
- As a formal greeting when getting together after an extended period apart
- As a simple quick greeting when first meeting with one another
- When departing or saying goodbye to parents for an extended period of time
Children are more likely to kiss their parents on the lips in everyday situations, from waking up to going to bed at night.
Additionally, children are more likely to kiss their parents on the lips when they are younger and just learning to verbalize their thoughts, needs, and wants.
Kissing a parent on the lips is one of the easiest ways for a child to show love and affection to their caregivers.
In most instances, yes, it is appropriate to kiss your parents on the lips.
While not all families will kiss their children on the lips, others kiss their toddlers and children until they are no longer comfortable with the idea.
Kissing your children on the lips as they are growing or your toddlers before they are able to verbalize their love and affection is a way for some parents to communicate with their kids.
If a child does not feel comfortable kissing their parents on the lips, they should not be forced to do so, regardless of their age.
Although there are social customs and norms in various religions and sects of society, it is also important to listen to any child who is uncomfortable with physical touch or contact, even if the kiss is with a parent.
Kissing parents on the lips or even on the cheek has been likely around since the dawn of man.
Various cultures and religions have also used different forms of greetings when it comes to greeting elders as well as parents of children directly.
Kissing your parents on the lips can also simply be a way for any family to show love and affection, regardless of their culture and external religious beliefs.
It is normal to kiss your parents on the lips in many different countries, including the United States.
Many Eastern countries in the world are also accustomed to greeting parents with a kiss on the lips or even on the cheeks, depending on specific cultures and customs.
In some families, societies, and cultures, children or even grown adults still kiss their parents on the cheeks instead of kissing them on the lips.
Once children are grown or become teenagers, it is not uncommon for them to begin the transition from kissing their parents and grandparents on the lips to kissing them on the cheek for the sake of comfort and proper boundaries.
If you prefer to kiss your parents on the cheek instead of on their lips, you may be doing so out of sheer comfort or due to your age.
As an adult, you are likely to feel more comfortable giving your parents a peck kiss on the cheek rather than kissing them directly on the lips.
Ultimately, there is no major difference between kissing your parents on the lips or choosing to kiss them on the cheek.
The biggest reason someone might choose to kiss their parents on the cheek instead of on the lips is due to their age, boundaries, and feeling comfortable in any situation that involves a physical greeting.
For some, children will stop kissing their parents on the lips after they learn to speak and verbalize their feelings.
Other children may prefer to keep kissing their parents on the cheek into their teenage years.
In some cultures and societies, it is also considered normal to kiss your parents on the cheek as well as on the lips well into adulthood.
It is important for any individual who kisses their parents on the cheek or lips to do so only if they feel comfortable doing so themselves.
It is also important to keep in mind that once children hit puberty, they are more likely to feel comfortable with kissing on the cheek instead of on the lips or avoiding physically kissing their parents or relatives at all.
If you have reached an age at which you are no longer comfortable with kissing your parents on the lips, you should speak to your parents directly and tell them.
Speaking to your parents openly and honestly about your feelings can help you to better navigate how you will greet your parents in the future.
If you are from a society or culture that will look down on you for not properly greeting your parents with a kiss on the lips or on the cheek, you may need to discuss your feelings with your parents directly.
If you are an adult, your only course of action may be to distance yourself physically from those who will not accept you without a physical greeting.
You will likely already know when it is appropriate to kiss your parents on the lips if you have grown up with the custom of greeting your parents with a kiss on the lips or even on the cheeks.
If you are at a formal event or if you are saying goodbyes to your parents for a long time, it may be appropriate to kiss them on the cheek or on the lips, depending on your family’s customs and traditions.
You will also know when it is appropriate to kiss your parents on the lips if you were raised in a culture that always greets elders in that fashion.
Gathering with family members is another scenario in which it will be appropriate to kiss your parents on the lips if you are from a culture that supports this practice.
This can be difficult for children or for adults who have grown up accustomed to greeting their parents with a kiss on the cheek or on the lips.
However, if you are no longer comfortable with the prospect of kissing your parents on the lips, the best way to let them know is to do so verbally.
Expressing yourself verbally, clearly, and directly can let your parents know what you are and are not comfortable with when it comes to greeting them.
Yes, it is not always appropriate to kiss your parents on the lips without being in the proper setting and/or environment.
Kissing your parents or any relative on the lips or cheek is typically reserved for formal greeting situations as well as when saying goodbye between visits that are far and few in between.
A few times when it is not appropriate to kiss your parents on the lips might include:
- In a public location while you are with others and not in the process of greeting your parents
- In everyday conversation as an adult, this is likely to cross numerous boundaries
- At random when there is no reason for giving them a kiss on the lips
- When either the parent or you are uncomfortable with physically kissing as a way of greeting one another
If you believe you are too old to kiss your parents on the cheek, you are already aware of your situation as well as the distance you prefer to keep between you and your parents.
Most individuals will grow out of kissing their parents on the lips by the time they hit puberty.
Unless you are raised in a culture that kisses your parents on the lips and cheeks well into adulthood, you will likely find yourself wanting to stop kissing your parents on the lips before you are a teenager.